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What does the new MATRIX offer power users? Here’s a preview of new technologies the ROG MATRIX HD 7970 offers. We will bring you more details closer to launch, with availability due during Q3.
For those that remember, or own the Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II, the DIGI+ VRM and Super Alloy Power hardware will be familiar. However the power phases have been increased from 12 to 20 on the MATRIX, providing more overall power availability to the GPU and memory for extreme clocking.
Simplified, the AMD Radeon HD 7970 ‘Tahiti’ GPU contains 2048 shaders and 32 ROPs built in the new ‘Graphics Core Next’ (GCN) architecture. As the most powerful graphics part AMD currently does, it’s an obvious fit for ROG. Accompanying it is 3GB of GDDR5 memory connected via a large 384-bit interface. As you’d expect for MATRIX card, both GPU and memory will have factory overclocks, although the final clock speeds won’t be stated until closer to the retail launch date.
The card is braced by a ‘durability frame’ that does a double duty of preventing PCB warping and also adding heatsinks to the memory and VRMs. It’s main cooler is the DirectCU II heatpipe and fin array, along with the twin 80mm fans overhead. Like previous MATRIX cards the logo along the edge is backlit and responds to GPU load in realtime, changing the LED color from blue (0%) through to red (100%).
Display connectivity includes four DisplayPort connectors and two DVI connectors (one of which is a dual-link connector). These can be adapted to HDMI or other display needs with the appropriate dongles that support Eyefinity.
Features specifically designed for overclockers include VGA Hotwire, which syncs up with the current Extreme boards: Rampage IV Extreme and the upcoming Maximus V Extreme, that have the receptive connectors. This is then used in conjunction with the OC Key that’s bundled with the Extreme boards also. While current DirectCU II cards can also be VGA Hotwire’d via soldering, the MATRIX goes one better to include actual plug sockets, so the soldering is no longer required. This is a small privilege reserved for ROG users.
Nestled under the DirectCU heatsinks at the end of the PCB there are four buttons. The two TweakIt buttons can boost the core voltage in preset jumps without having to resort to software increments, while the red 100% fan speed button does what it says on the tin. The Safe Mode reset button that clears all overclocks and resets the default settings, has been moved next to them as well.
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